How we love our furry family members! We want to do everything we can to ensure they are happy and healthy. As a fellow fur-parent, we understand that you only want the best food to satiate your dog's appetite and nourish him to his prime vigor. Unfortunately, these are tough times and no matter how badly we wish for high-end dog food, sometimes our budget just won't allow it. Now, finding the best cheap dog food can be a challenge especially when there are so many brands misleading people for the sake of profit instead of our furry companions' welfare.
A majority of cheap dog foods consist a high percentage of indigestible bulking agents instead of wholesome ingredients. But don't be discouraged! There are also high-quality healthy dog foods that are also budget-friendly, and we made all the research for you so you won't have to undergo the guesswork. Hence, we came up with a list of the seven best cheap dog foods. By cheap, we don't mean poor quality. We mean high-quality dog food at the right price!
Top 7 Best Healthy Cheap Dog Food Compared
Price on Amazon
What to Look For
- Real Meat – Walk away from brands that use plant sources for protein instead of real meat. True, legumes provide nourishment but their protein content is insufficient for our canine buddies' needs. Manufacturers use peas and corn as a cheap way to bulk up food. Some dogs find it difficult to digest pea protein, causing them stomach aches, indigestion, and other digestive problems. Meat protein will always be the best.
- Grain-Free Formula – Whole grains have their own health benefits, but not all dogs can benefit from eating such. Just like humans, dogs differ in ways plenty. So if your dog is allergic to grains such as rice or wheat, make sure he eats a grain-free formula.
- Taste and Quality – Just because it's cheap, it doesn't mean it has to be bland. You don't have to compromise its taste and quality just because you opt for something more affordable. But beware of artificial colors and flavors. Dog food made with real, fresh ingredients taste great even without additives.
- Age-Appropriate Formula – Don't give a Pomeranian dog food that is formulated for a Great Dane or a senior dog's diet to a puppy and vice versa. Every life stage has varying nutrition requirements and you must adhere to it if you want the best for your dog.
7 Best Affordable and Healthy Dog Foods
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection - Adult Dry Dog Food (Chicken & Brown Rice), $1.33/lb. - Best Budget Friendly Dog Food
Likewise, brown rice is a good source of fiber for good digestion as well as B vitamins.In addition, Blue Buffalo Life Protection is fortified with antioxidants to boost your dog's immune system and Omega-fatty acids for a better-looking skin and coat. Big or small, the Blue Buffalo Life Protection should be an excellent choice for your furry housemates especially if you are looking for a high-quality dog food at a reasonable price.
- Specially formulated for adult dogs of all sizes
- Primary ingredient is chicken
- No meat by-product
- Includes fiber-rich brown rice
- No preservatives, artificial flavors or colors
- Fortified with Blue Buffalo Life Source
- USA made
- Not suitable for dogs allergic to chicken
- May not work with dogs intolerant to grain
Mixed with brown rice, barley, and potatoes, your small breed can get a fairly high level of carbohydrates to keep him up and running. However, this is not a good choice if your dog is obese or inactive. It is also important to note that there is no egg, dairy, or beef in this recipe just in case your dog is allergic to those ingredients. Moreover, this dog food is fortified with antioxidants and chelated minerals to boost Doggo's first line of defense against common illnesses.
- Single-source protein
- Rich in carbohydrates and fiber
- Tiny kibble size perfect for smaller teeth and jaws
- Crunchy texture helps tartar removal
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals
- No wheat, soy, or corn
- Unsuitable for inactive or obese dogs due to high levels of carbohydrates
- Unsuitable for dogs allergic to grain
Oats are a good source of carbohydrates and soluble fiber, which helps promote bowel regularity. Likewise, it contains linoleic acid that promotes healthy skin and coat. If little Doggo is allergic to wheat, know that oats are a great alternative. Pork fat and fish oil are also added as minor components in this dog food's formula, but only to increase little Doggo's appetite so he can munch on his food with delight. After all, he needs to gain some weight!
- Formulated with optimum calcium requirement for pups up to 1 yr.
- Appetizing and nutritious for puppies
- Smaller-sized kibbles perfect for tiny teeth
- Rich in muscle-building protein
- Complete and balanced
- Reliable fat source
- Package comes with precise instructions
- Whole grains may serve as a problem for puppies with a sensitive stomach
4. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food (Chicken & Turkey), $1.59/lb. -Best Grain Free Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms is grain-free, yes, but it does contain carbohydrates in the form sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes provide 92% carbohydrates, and hence transitions your little fur-ball into a ball of fire so he can run and play during the day. Unless your dog is diabetic, sweet potatoes should be the least of your concern. Moreover, potatoes are an excellent source of fiber to promote digestion and bowel regularity.
- Chicken and turkey combo
- Made with free-range animals and fresh vegetables
- More protein, less fat
- Grain-free holistic formula
- No artificial agents
- Poultry sensitivities
- Best avoided by overweight and diabetic dogs
- Has a strong odor
After weeks of consumption, you can tell that your dog is much healthier as his coat becomes shinier and produces less hair shedding.Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural promises that this dog food contains no by-products, cheap fillers, gluten, preservatives, artificial flavors, and colors. Fortified with natural prebiotics and fiber from sweet potatoes, this dog food promotes digestion and prevents GI issues in sensitive dogs. Although grain-free, take note that sweet potatoes alone are rich in carbohydrates and will keep your dog as alert as he can be!
- Made with real salmon
- Simple, natural recipe
- Rich in highly digestible protein and carbohydrates
- Well-suited for sensitive stomachs and poultry intolerance
- Grain and gluten-free
- Kibble size is too large for small breeds
- Fish smell
It is a zero-grain recipe, making it perfect for the ferocious eater with a sensitive stomach. Although it's grain-free, fiber-rich sweet potatoes provide the carbohydrates to keep your dog bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Sweet potatoes also contain fiber needed for proper digestion. In addition, a mix of berries and vegetables are added to ensure maximum health benefits.
- Delicious, nutritious, and filling
- Made with real bison meat and roasted venison
- Exemplary protein content and highly digestible carbohydrates
- Complete and well-balanced nutrition
- Fortified with antioxidants and chelated minerals
- Kibble molds or loses its quality when frequently exposed to air
Its grain-free recipe uses sweet potatoes as the main source of carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber. This dog food also promotes your dog's skin and coat with its right balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Merrick Grain-Free Buffalo & Sweet Potato will make the itchiness and redness go away!
- Made with deboned buffalo
- Made with natural wholesome ingredients
- Flavorful and highly digestible
- Grain and gluten-free
- No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or additives
- Inconsistent kibble color and texture (which is not at all toxic but alarms others)
- More expensive than previous options
Final Thoughts on the Best Affordable Cheap Dog Foods
It is our mission to help you find the best cheap dog foods. After all, we are your fellow fur-parents and we understand that dogs aren't just pets but family members. We promise that these seven inexpensive healthy dog food brands will give your pooch the taste and quality that he deserves while keeping your wallet intact.Among our choices, we highly recommend the Blue Life Protection for your adult dog. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, a bowl of this dog food ensures that Doggo receives a complete and balanced meal every day. As for the tiny furry housemate with a big personality, it would be best to opt for the Blue Life Protection formulated for small breeds. Both products coming from the same brand have garnered thousands of positive reviews from happy households. And your family could be the next!